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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #12: Rawkin' Anniversaries

rawkin' choc-lit cake
(Sergei Boutenko's recipe from 12 Steps to Raw Foods by Victoria Boutenko)

I celebrated my first raw anniversary to rawkin' results, health-wise! ( a while back, I'll admit - I just haven't gotten around to blogging about it, 'til now ) Thanks to Jhoey of Pinoy Organics who asked about the garden  prompting me to blog about it as well as my raw journey the past year. So here goes:

Thank God for helping me discover strength and added health benefits through raw foods!

* I don't have dry, blood-shot eyes anymore (goodbye, artificial tears!)
* I have loads of energy (I signed up for my first badminton tournament ever - I never could before because I always ran out of steam before I could complete the requisite three games; I ran in a race, I am able to go to the gym daily, as well as do 2 15-minute walks a day and I can take the stairs everywhere, even carrying all my abubuts - gigantic lunch bag, purse, badminton bag, water bottle)
*Update: From August-December 2010 I had 2 migraines. January-October 30 2011 I also had only 2 migraines. Compare this to pre-2010 when I had migraines constantly. I also can now survive a migraine without taking prescription medicines. 
* I still have a few health issues - maybe I'll blog about them, maybe I won't. I'm still deciding.

Thank God for the nice hobby that was brought about by an excess of compost material! Since I had so much of it, I planned to just fertilize the garden naturally, but soon the soil just seemed to brim with life and gardening just came naturally. I love how now, a year later:

* Our garden is a few degrees cooler
* I got my dad to get interested in gardening as well!
* I have fun remembering all the pesticide-free goodies from the garden I got to enjoy: chesa, avocado leaf tea, mustasa, malunggay, Philippine mangoes, piko mangoes, atis, bayabas, buko, and aloe vera






* I am part of a Philippine-based raw food support group.

* I am able to assert myself at restaurants

* I am still in awe of the simple joys of getting my hands in the soil to create little grooves for seeds to nestle in, and a garden season later,smelling freshly picked produce

Best of all, I love how gardening itself reminds me of God's hands-on work. He spoke everything else into existence but He man by hand. And even though I often make mistakes - I've caused weeds to die (!),  I've forgotten to water plants at times - He never does. He knows just what each plant needs.

Apart from the Vine, no branch can bear fruit. 
















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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #11: Semi-tree ripened, pesticide-free bananas



yummy!


murado, red variety 



Aren't these great? I have a co-worker whose housemate came from Romblon who got these bananas for free. For free! According to her, the people from her housemate's hometown usually prefer fast food to fresh, free fruit. Wow, would I like to trade places with one of them! 

They sure were a nice break from my regular supply of organic, but picked-unripe-from-the-tree saba, lagkitan and lakatan!  So much sweeter and creamier too, with a different texture. Ooooh, how I loved them!

This got me thinking - how many of the banana varieties from the Philippines have I actually tried? There are about 7,107 islands in my country but so far, I am embarrassed to admit I have only tried Senorita, lakatan, lagkitan, saba, and those perfect-looking, spotless mutant bananas from the supermarket. 

One of my favorite teachers, Bartholomew J. Laihiff, SJ challenged my history class to prioritize exploring  the Philippines over venturing out of the country. I realize it is not too late to do this. And when I do, I think I will try to check out wild bananas instead of those pretty lakatans sold at road side fruit stands.  (Aside from bananas, there are also a lot more mango varieties to be discovered.  And I'm not even talking about hybrids. I was speaking with a farmer from Nueva Ecija and they have red mangoes.)

What varieties of mangoes/bananas do you have in your hometown? What should I be looking out for? Kontactr me!

Now, if I can only find banana-type pushpins for my Philippine map!








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Friday, September 16, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #10: Praying for Other People to (Re)Discover Health through Raw Foods

Steve Jobs used to be a raw foodist. A fruitarian, to be precise.

Legend has it that he was trying to beat a deadline to come up with a name for his new company, and threatened to call it Apple when they couldn't think of one in time.

He was once a subscriber to Just Eat an Apple, Natures First Law's raw newsletter in the late 90s.



Back when he was an Ashton Kutcher-esque fruitarian



I'm not sure how long he was on an all-fruit regimen but he admitted that sometime later, he became a "garbage can like everyone else" (Got this from Raw Food Controversies, by Frederic Patenaude). In 2004 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but surgery helped remove it. There's speculation about what he has now (which caused him to resign from Apple) and what kind of treatment he is receiving, but I am hoping that he somehow gets into raw again! (Not that it is a panacea,  but it does help!)

* * *

I'll be honest - I wasn't that impressed with Apple products when I started using them. Even though we were five minutes away from Microsoft in Redmond, and a lot of our "clients" were Microsoft millionaires, my "office" computer was a Bondi Blue Mac - it was so cute, but I hated it because it was always getting bogged down. My good friend Tin got her brand new iPod and Mac laptop bundle on a student discount and in less than a year she had to have the laptop serviced. Although some of my friends are more than satisfied with their Macs and wouldn't ever "go back" to other computers. Good for them :D

Bondi Blue Mac-ing in Microsoft country

I do enjoy other Apple products now - I think having a Kindle (not an Apple product) and Evernote (not an Apple product) on an iPod is one of the best things ever to have while waiting for Filipino time events to start :D

And I loooved Toy Story and Monster's Inc. by Steve Job's Pixar Animation.




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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Langka Smoothie

I loooove langka. I especially like in a langka-luya smoothie! (Thanks to Asha Peri for introducing me to do this!). Here is a variation of langka-luya that you can use if you are out of gata :D

Try this recipe and let me know  how you like/don't like it. Reviews welcome!

Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh carrot juice
2-3 cups langka, seeded
1 T fresh turmeric
1 T fresh ginger

Preparation:

Just blend everything in a high-speed blender. Experiment with putting in big pieces of unjuiced carrot :D

or

For regular blenders - Put in the carrot juice and add the langka pieces little by little. Chop the turmeric and ginger before adding them in.









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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mulberry Tree

So how did everyone enjoy the long weekend?

I went on an amazing  retreat that I highly recommend. So blessed to have been part of it! Let me know via kontactr if you want to know more about it.

Since other people prepared the food, I wasn't able to eat all raw - had steamed veggies and fish. (Yes, yes, since I am unable to take locally available vitamin B12, I decided to eat raw or steamed fish  - usually salmon - once a week) The first night I ate fried string beans and some sauteed fruit and veggies - I think I ate a little bit of the breading so I started to itch, but praise God nothing other than some redness occurred!

Anyhoo, on to the post...

A few days before leaving for the retreat, I enjoyed a mulberry smoothie - thanks to Monina Carandang of Herbana Farms who graciously offered some freshly picked ones from their tree!


Anti-oxidant Mulberry Green Smoothies

Ingredients:

2 cups locally harvested, fresh organic mulberries
4 ripe bananas (or substitute 3 bananas plus half a cup to one cup other berries for an uber anti-oxidant experience)
1 bunch  kangkong leaves

Preparation:

Blend everything in your trusty high-speed blender!

* * *


I love these mulberries on so many different levels!

They remind me of when a friend from New Zealand who took me on my first fruit foraging experience in Washington State.  Blackberries are not a big deal there. They seem to just grow everywhere, even in poor soil.  And no one really minds if you forage.

So a-foraging we went! 


(By the way, the blackberry isn't a real berry. It is a compound fruit. Nerd alert! :P)

* * *

And the fact I went foraging helps me forge some kind of kinship with raw Canadian Frederic Patenaude and the many California raw foodists who have foraged before me. 

* * *


I also love that these mulberries  are cheaper than the blueberries at the health food stores/groceries. 


Contact:
Monina Carandang
0921-664-7027
Salcedo Market, Saturdays

(I don't get discounts for advertising Herbana farms. Monina is the daughter of one my dad's law school brods, but I have been ordering from her for a long time even before I discovered this. I usually get my veggies from her weekly, but I couldn't during the long weekend since I was away.)









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Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Avocado Tree/Bocca B Sunbeam Catcher Beautiful Pink Tea

This is Bocca B, my teeny little avocado tree who loves feasting on coffee grounds and organic compost!

 Bocca B, 
my teeny little super tree,
oh how I like thee!

Green sunbeam 
catchers make beautiful pink tea - 
great for the kidney!

Tea party
guests who try it will all agree -
great tea = caffeine-free!


Ten long years
before you become all fruity - 
that's just fine by me!

* * *

Bocca B Green Sunbeam Catchers Beautiful Pink Tea

Ingredients:
7 leaves of the Bocca B
A liter of clean, fresh water (preferably filtered) - not tap water

Preparation:
Bring water to a boil.
Reduce the heat.
Place 7 leaves of the Bocca B tree in the water. Put the lid on the cookware and let simmer until the water turns pink.
Turn off the heat. 
Let the tea cool to room temperature.
Pour into beautiful tea cups!
Call all your fellow Anne of Green Gables fans ages 9 and up to have a mostly raw food tea party! 
Look Ma, no caffeine! This is waaay better than drinking sugar-laden pretend-tea orange juice!

* * *

(I heard that another kidney cleanser tea is the edible weed pansit-pansitan. I usually like my pansit-pansitan raw, in a green smoothie. But if you want to try pansit-pansitan tea, just steep the pansit-pansitan leaves in a nice tea pot filled with boiling water.)

Can you tell I'm happy that my nephrologist said my kidneys are a-ok? :D

***If you have kidney problems, it's best to listen to your doctor, not to me :D






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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Unfried rice


Ingredients:

amaranth, 1 tablespoon or less soaked overnight
millet, 2 or more tablespoons soaked over night
1 cup or more wild rice sprouted
1 carrot
wakame soaked in water, then rinsed
1/2 patola
thyme leaves
1/4 cup red onion or a handful of shallots chopped
few spritzes of calamansi  (I like mine sour :))
Bragg nutritional yeast or nut cheeze
angel seaweed from Dr. Tam's Vegan Haus
a dash of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 clove of garlic

Preparation:

Cut the garlic in half and rub your salad bowl with each half. Discard garlic. 
Toss the rest of the ingredients together in the salad bowl. 

*Low fat raw vegans may choose between olive oil or nut cheeze


This recipe contains RDA:
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Copper
Iron
Magnesium
Manganese
Niacin
Pant. Acid
Phosporus
Riboflavin
Thiamin
Zinc

It has trace amounts of:
Vitamin A
Calcium
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

There is no Vitamin D in this recipe.

It is 11% fat,  13% protein, and 76% carbs




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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pansit-pansitan Experiment


I was super excited to take care of pansit-pansitan especially after I tried it in a green smoothie. 

It is a local edible weed claimed to have kidney cleaning properties. I heard that a well-known archbishop claims that it removed his kidney stones and he likes to steep it in boiling water for use as a tea. 



When I found out some weeds grew nearby,  I tried to transplant them, but  my first attempt didn't go so well.  I remember thinking, how difficult could it be to grow a weed?! 


I waited too long before transplanting so they were too dehyrated. This time, I  am not taking any chances!


I am planting in living soil (read: composted)...







as well as some composted soil along with some regular soil. 


Will the experiment work or not? I guess I will find out soon enough!



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Friday, July 29, 2011

Dehydrator Recipe: Tomato-less Flatbread Pizza Crust

Here's a night-shade free (tomato-less) flatbread pizza crust

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds, soaked at least 8 hours, soak water discarded, and rinsed

1 cup flaxseeds soaked at least 8 hours, soak water discarded, and rinsed
Pulp from juicing: carrots, parsley, beets 
1/2 cup minced red onion (for this recipe, I diced the onion, though. You could probably use less onion if desired)
non-irradiated herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano, parsley (grow your own or get them at your weekend market!)


Preparation:

1. Blend the almonds and flaxseeds in a high speed blender or a food processor. (Someday, I will own a very nice food processor!!!)



2. Scoop in the pulp from juicing. For this recipe I used the pulp from juiced carrots, parsley, beets and mix well.



3. Mix the almond-flaxseed mixture with the green onions, then add the pulp little by little. (I have small mixing bowls kasi eh). Some people like to mix these with their hands. Rings off, please!



4. Spread onto non stick dehydrator sheets your desired thickness. I used less than half an inch. Dehydrate at 104 degrees F for half a day. Makati is pretty humid. The period of dehydration will vary based on climate and humidity. I can imagine this will dehydrate faster in the States.



5. Flip over and dehydrate 2 hours more, or until crunchy. I never got this far because the aroma was too much and I just had to have it already!

This is a great bread (less dehydration time, more moisture) on its own or as a pizza base (more dehydration time, crunchy, will keep longer) if using the carrot beet parsley mixture. Look up a nice nut cheeze recipe to go with it if desired :D But that will just give you more fat. Your call. Hehe :D

I love that the onions gave it just the right flavor even though no salt was used. Top with basil, thyme or other non irradiated herbs.

Ciao!




This was my pre show dinner before watching Varekai a few weeks ago. I had it with a salad. For dessert, I had Ani Phyo's recipe for coconut breakfast cake. (Breakfast for dinner! Ahluvet!)

Again, raw foodists shouldn't eat this daily. It has more fat than carbs. This is more like a treat.

This recipe contains:

Vitamin A
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Calcium
Copper
Iron
Magnesium
Maganese
Pant. Acid
Phosperous
Riboflavin
Selenium
Sodium
Thiamin
Zinc

This recipe has 60% fat, 28% carbs, 12% protein.
This recipe contains no Vitamin B12 and no Vitamin D.




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Friday, July 22, 2011

O, Lettuce Rejoice!

Assorted sprouts on the window sill. when these get bigger, they will be transferred to individual pots.

Homegrown, organic, 100% love.







What are you growing this week?
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #9: Not Having to Get a Liposuction/Pay for Some Expensive Body Slimming Treatment/Go on a Crazy Diet that Will Make Me Hungry or Irritable Just to Lose Weight

                                              My size 2 clothes which I gave away to create space  for my size 0 clothes!


No liposuctions! Or Marie France visits! Or irritability! Or hunger!


Anyone who goes raw finds that weight loss is really easy. I wasn't looking to lose weight, just aiming to get healthier.  


I'm a pear, and because I lived abroad for three years, and didn't have the healthiest habits, I couldn't get rid of glut fat no matter how much I exercised. 


Back then, a housemate from China tactlessly commented : you have a big butt. :( I couldn't argue with that, even though it super hurt :(

Fast forward to mid August-December 2010 when I was close to 100% raw, and the healthiest I ever felt.

Post-college, I was a size 0 on top,  but downstairs I was a size 2. Going raw (not even going just vegetarian) helped me become a consistent size 0. It is so much easier to buy dresses now, and I hardly need to get them altered!

 A word of caution: It is difficult to get in calories on raw, so be sure that you get more carbohydrates than fat, especially when you are exercising. This recipe contains a lot of fat. It isn't the kind of dish you should be eating daily. 


* * *


I have a friend who is on a different diet. It is a diet that is high on animal protein, low in carbs, and to top it off, the doctor who designed it says exercise is optional. 


Huuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh?!??!?!?!?! 


My friend is losing weight, sure, (which is really her goal) but she is always hungry and cheating, and since starting the diet, has gotten sick 4 times, in a span of 7 months.  


Personally, I would steer clear of any "health" regimen that says exercise is optional. Exercise is very important. Exercise strengthens the bones, builds muscle, engages the lymph system, creates endorphins, and excretes toxins. 


Eating too much meat is also not advisable for Asians. If you have the time or inclination, you might want to read a study that shows that meat-eating, dairy-consuming Asians are prone to osteoporosis (One study is the Cornell-Oxford-China Nutrition Project). In addition, The China Study shows how people eating high protein diets experience more Western diseases, like cancer, heart attacks, hypertension and diabetes. Initially, the study wanted to find out why there was a high incidence of liver cancer in children in the Philippines. The study thought it was due to the high consumption of peanuts and corn containing toxins, but eventually, it was found out that "children who ate the highest [animal] protein diets were the most likely to get liver cancer." (The China Study)


*   *     *

I am not, I repeat, not a doctor or nutritionist. Whatever I post here is based on my personal experience and research. Be discerning. Not everything raw vegan is healthy either!








                                                                                                   
                                                                                        



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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rainy Day Pesto to go with Broccoli-Mushroom Salad

Ingredients:
leaves of fresh mint (Available at your favorite weekend market)
leaves of fresh thyme (Available at the Salcedo Market)
1 head, broccoli
1 cup or more mushrooms
2 cloves deveined garlic - Slice the garlic clove in half and remove the sprout in the middle. Deveining the garlic is optional. 
1 cup walnuts*
1/4 c pine nuts*
1-2 t olive oil
Nutritional yeast to taste (Available at Healthy Options)
Sweetener to taste-raw honey is great (Palawan wild raw honey is my fave!), you might also want to try pitted dates (available at Assad), or a single raw, dried mission fig (available at Healthy Options) I don't really like using agave nectar. Or the other processed "raw" sweeteners out there.
Nori, one-two sheets (Dahon Kusin is selling raw nori!)
Basil or other sweet herbs. My supplier, Shinozaki Yasutaka, gave me a kind of local peppermint that smells like basil but tastes a little minty. Will get back to you on the name again. If I forget, send me a note on the kontactr form.


*Soak the nuts for eight hours in mineral water. Throw out the soak water, then rinse before using the recipe.




Preparation:

Just place everything in a high-speed blender (for a coarser pesto) except for the mushrooms, broccoli, mint and thyme. Use the tamper to push down ingredients to process.

Or, I can imagine this would be creamier in a food processor. Sigh. Would love to own a food processor one of these days!

For the salad, put together broccoli florets from a head of broccoli, about a cup of mushrooms, and (optional): other greens.

This recipe is high in Manganese, Manganese and Phosporus.

It also has trace amounts of:

Vitamin A
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Calcium
Cooper
Iron
Niacin
Pant. Acid
Potassium
Riboflavin
Selenium
Sodium
Thiamin
Zinc

This recipe contains 83% fat, 10% carbs, and 7% protein. Yes, protein.









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Saturday, June 25, 2011

What To Use When You Don't Have Cheese Cloth

Sprouting monggo (left) and fermenting nut cheeze (right)
Somebody doesn't have cheese cloth! Well yeah I do but since I moved in I haven't had time to find it. I'm sure it'll turn up! Til then, good ol improvisation will do!

By the way, if you are fermenting cheeze (this is 2 cups soaked almonds and 1 cup mineral water and several spritzes of calamansi, then blended in a high-speed blender, placed on top of a fridge in 90 C-weather overnigiht) this amount is too much for this jar! (I learned as much the very next day)



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Monday, June 20, 2011

Pineapple - Malunggay Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

An entire ripe organic, non-hybrid, non-GMO, fresh pineapple, skin and eyes removed
A few sprigs to many sprigs of malunggay  (1 sprig if this is your first time to try this recipe)
2 cups of water or more to taste


For high-speed blenders: Blend everything at once.
For regular blenders: Put in the pineapple little by little and pulse until well blended.

+   +  +

This is not a smoothie to make for a first-time smoothie drinker. For beginners, I recommend this smoothie instead. Once you are ready for a malunggay smoothie, use only one sprig. Then build up your taste buds to take two sprigs the next time, and so on.

+ + +

Malunggay can just grow in your backyard if you live in the Philippines. It can also grow in Hawaii. The Philippine consulate in Israel has also tried growing it there - and it has! It sure would be nice if every Pinoy (or the local public school) has this in the yard, wouldn't it?

To prepare, grab a few sprigs and wash carefully. Sidebar: Do you have a 2.5-3 year old at home? Show her how to do this one by one, and sloooooowly.  I guarantee you - you will have a very happy camper! Just be patient! S/he will like plucking the leaves off into a bowl until it is ready to be washed.

I don't soak mine in sukang tuba, because I grow malunggay organically at home.

Malunggay leaves have a waxy coating that deter pests and can be grown pesticide-free!

+ +  +

An organic pineapple is about P70 each.

Imagine this: for less than P100, you can provide a cancer patient with a pineapple - malunggay green smoothie with the following nutritional, bioavailable benefits:

This recipe has a high amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium, Protein in the bioavailable form of 18 essential amino acids, and trace amounts of:

Copper
Iron
Niacin
Pant. Acid
Phosporus
Riboflavin
Selenium
Sodium
Thiamin
Vitamin B6

When eaten raw (not canned or frozen), and  fresh from the blender, and taken alone (not as an accompaniment beverage to a Standard Filipino Diet meal), your body assimilates this recipe's goodness super fast!

Too often, Pinoys equate pineapples with upset stomachs because to begin with, their stomachs are acidic. Pinoys also equate pineapples with opening a can of ______. (Can anyone say "tricalcium phosphate?!). Preservatives in canned pineapples exacerbate the stomach's reaction to pineapples. Slowly alkalize your body with fruit and vegetables, and over time, you will not find eating organic, raw pineapples upsetting.  In fact, they will have an alkaline-forming effect on your body. Strange but true!





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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raw fruits and vegetables for a cancer patient

If you have experienced healing from raw fruits and vegetables, please consider sharing this with someone who doesn't have the resources.

http://fruitsandvegetablesformarilou.blogspot.com

Alternately, you can also just forward the link to someone whom you think might help.

Please be warned.  Marilou's "after" pic is graphic. Sorry :(


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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #8: Not Telling the Guests the Food You Brought to a Potluck is Raw then Watching their Reactions When They Rave About the Food and Ask You How You Made It

There are few people I can play this trick on now, but whenever I have the chance, I love getting the MasterCard "priceless" jaw-drop reactions!

A favorite recipe I love to share (since it keeps so well), is Ani Phyo's Coconut Breakfast Cake, pictured below with dehydrated blueberries that were rehydrated and blended with dates.



Any berry can be blended with dates to make the yummy sauce :D



The "butter" is made from olive oil and some sea salt and then frozen in a plastic mold. It melted by the time I got to the potluck, (Makati traffic will do that to you!) but it was still appreciated.

The "syrup" is any raw sweetener. In this recipe, I used wild Palawan wild, raw honey.

Another recipe I love to share is  Wok This Way Stir No Fry. I've tried the sauce with different combinations of veggies and it is always a winner. I don't use nama shoyu/Bragg liquid aminos, but I always tell the guests they can try it if they want. Instead of agave nectar, I use Palawan wild, raw honey.





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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Independence from Salt!

I am going to try to be salt-free in the dishes I have control over from here on out.

Instead of salt, I am going to experiment with the naturally-occurring salty taste in seaweed (dulse, kelp, wakame, nori, and the Philippines' very own lato).

I still have a jar of evaporated sea salt for soaking nuts and seeds with, but this will be purely for soaking now.

Of course, if I am at a raw food potluck or resto, I won't have control over the salt used, but I won't fret over what's outside my sphere of influence.

What kind of ingredients are you seeking independence from?

Happy Philippine independence day! :D

What's on my spice shelves? Top Shelf: sukang tuba, expeller-pressed olive oil, two jars of  seeds, Epsom salt, rosewater. Lower Shelf: VCO, organic vanilla (this one has alcohol though. no alcohol-free versions in the Philippines-boo!), Angel seaweed, evaporated sea salt, cinammon and paprika, capers, another bottle of olive oil, tree bark tea, raw cacao nibs

2017 Update: I am taking sea salt again!

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #7: Flexible Chefs at Non-Raw Restos!

What's better than being allowed to bring raw baon to a resto that doesn't have raw food selections for you? Restos with flexible chefs!

When I first read that Victoria Boutenko (of 12 Steps To Raw) flashes a raw card whenever she eats out, I wondered if such a thing would ever work in the Philippines. (Has anyone ever tried this?)

I haven't. But I have tried calling a resto in advance, asking what happens if someone in the party had a lot of food restrictions. (Take note, that I have never come out to say that I was it! He he :)) Sometimes I would get a sympathetic head waiter who would tell me to look for him so I could be accommodated. Sometimes I don't. But at least I can adjust accordingly (read: bring my own baon).

So when someone else does the asking for you, in advance, it's nice.

My sister did just this when she booked us a table at Blackwood Bistro in Venice Piazza one Sunday. She forwarded to Chef Goody Jose my raw food guidelines, and Chef Goody gamely rose to the challenge. She told me later it was her first time to encounter this kind of food restriction.

What did she serve?

For starters, she provided shiitake mushrooms on fresh zucchini with olive oil and citrus zest salt on the side.









For my main course, she steamed (ok, not really raw but allowable under the circumstances) asparagus, and served the other ingredients raw/fresh. The onions were really sweet.







For dessert, assorted fruit. The mangoes were yummy. Chef offered a yummy-looking sherbet to the meat-eaters. 

As for my meat-eating companions, I know they enjoyed their meals. Huge servings for the meat eaters, I must say. The salmon looked particularly appetizing, but oh well. :D

(Just a sidebar- if you are in Venice Piazza on a Sunday evening, stay outside so you can watch whatever outdoor show they have on. When we went, they had a Mardi Gras. They also have other events. Thursday is ballroom night, I believe. Do ask first because I could have heard wrong.)

Thanks a lot Chef Goody for the accommodations! 

The other time I enjoyed a raw meal was at Rainmaker at CVC Law in Bonifacio Global City. This resto is catered by Gaita Fores, one of my culinary inspirations when I was still into cooked food. (Fun memories of Cafe Bola, Pepato and Cibo!) She wasn't there though, so I couldn't be all fan-girlish.  

Chef Gerald Montelibano was there and he received not just my raw food guidelines, but some recipes from Gone Raw and a few of the Dahon Kusina classes I attended. (My sister insisted) 

 From these, he chose to do my beginner's breakfast green smoothie (bottomless!!!!), his own take on raw salad, and Thai-inspired papaya rice. 


(Tsk, tsk, someone flunked the marshmallow test for "wait until after the picture before you drink". And this was already after the second glass. Quadruple tsk.)




Thai-inspired papaya rice

It was awesome to have a non-raw chef interpret a raw dish!

Other non-raw restos worth checking out for their accommodations to raw foodists: Cyma, Cafe Mediterranean, Jasmine (at New World Hotel) and the room service at East Asia Royale Hotel in General Santos. None of them are raw restaurants, but quite accommodating. Jasmine and EARH might bargain with you to lightly steam the veggies. I think that is OK. Just remind EARH not to use butter/Star margarine. Steaming for a few minutes only partially removes the nutrients, compared to grilling (which adds carcinogens from the blackened parts of food) or frying (which uses trans fat). 

Disclosure: Chef Goody Jose is related to my brother-in-law. My sister is senior partner at CVC Law so of course the chef at Rainmaker had no choice but to do what she said! I don't have any connections with Cyma, Cafe Mediterranean, Jasmine or East Asia Royale Hotel in General Santos and I don't receive any discounts/favors for these mentions.



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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #6: Brainstorming Outlets for Your Newfound Energy

I started going to the gym a few months ago, did my first 3k since college, and I am back to playing badminton! I have also gone on whole day training seminars and still feel I can go on even when my companions feel like going home.

I love the feeling of boundless energy, even when the day is about to end!

And since I don't have household help, I love that I still have energy to do all my chores when I get back home.

I get super motivated at the gym now because of the comments of the gym instructors - that I can push myself harder, "malakas ka kasi eh.", "after the first rep go heavier, then after that rep go heavier." Sometimes I look at the weight I'm being asked to lift, and in my head I'm going, "I can't lift this much!" but I do it anyway and surprise myself. Of course if you are just starting with weights, don't copy me. Please know that I started weights since I discovered I had scoliosis, which was in my preteens. Thing is, I have plateaued in college and never lifted anything heavier than what I was doing back then until now. Eating raw, living food is making such a huge difference in my energy levels.

How has it worked in yours?















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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #5: Bye-bye dry, bloodshot eyes!

Three years ago, I was living in the States, studying and working at the same time. I lived on convenience vegetarian food (lots of soy and microwaving involved) and white bread. Once in a while I'd cook, but on lazy days, I would just opt for vegan bacon, vegan hotdogs, vegan ice cream, vegan burritos - everything junk vegan you could think of!

I thought I was healthy. I was a regular exerciser, I took vitamins. I belonged to a badminton club, and I wanted to be active in the outdoorsy community in Seattle.

One thing I did notice was that I would usually come home from work/school with bloodshot eyes. Even though I used artificial tears (P300 for a bottle that lasts a month) to keep my eyes lubricated (I was told that my eyes were going to be perenially dry after LASIK), it wasn't enough to keep the blood vessels in my eyes from reddening by four pm. I even got an anonymous text from someone who accused me of taking drugs!  

When I came back to the Philippines, I started preparing home-cooked vegetarian food more and more. I stopped taking "fake" food, and the redness stopped. My eyes were still dry though.

This all changed when I started eating fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Aside from the dryness in my eyes disappearing, I was considerably less thirsty. Best of all, my insomnia** disappeared. Amazing!

I still have a teeny bottle of artificial tears in my kikay kit just in case, but so far, I haven't had any reason to use it except for the two months it took to get used to the smog in Manila. Those days, I used the artificial tears thrice a day! 

What is in raw, organic fruits and vegetables that helped? The lutein and zeaxanthin that are found in a variety of vegetables!

Lutein is a naturally occuring substance in the retina of your eyes. Prolonged intake of preserved foods such as the convenience vegan foods I "enjoyed" abroad, and not eating enough fresh vegetables, prevented me from replenishing the lutein my eyes badly needed. The salt from chips, french fries, and the typical Filipino diet exacerbated my dry eyes. 

Zeaxanthin is also found in our retinas, but they are found in a variety of vegetables and fruit as well. 

Thanks to naturally-produced lutein and zeaxanthin in raw fruits and veggies, and lessened artificial salt intake, I am nearing my first anniversary without dry eyes! All these without supplements too!



*I am not a doctor. I am not a food nutritionist. I don't claim to have all the answers to everyone's ailments. I simply have found raw foods to be helpful to me in improving my health and well-being. If you do try raw foods, consult a doctor and/or nutritionist. 

**Some raw foodists find that they have so much energy after adopting a raw food lifestyle, they don't need much sleep anymore. I believe that this is different from insomnia. Insomnia sufferers want to sleep, but can't, even if they want to. As a result, they are irritable the following morning, and tend to overeat, since their bodies tell them they need to compensate for the lack of rest. Raw foodists who have an abundance of energy are able to survive on less hours of sleep and still perform well, and are less prone to overeat. Not all raw foodists have completely defeated insomnia though! Not everything raw is healthy, just like not everything vegan/vegetarian is healthy. But that is a different post altogether :D















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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aloe Vera!

Aloe vera is a wonderful ingredient added to organic shampoos! Some non-organic shampoos claim they have it in their ingredients too.

I had a classmate from Tacoma who kept a pot of aloe vera in her house to apply to insect bites and cuts and swore by it!


And guess, what? You know what's coming, right?
You got it!
Some raw foodists love to eat aloe vera too! (As you can see by the cuts we've made!)

I got my pot a while back. Wish I took a picture then, because you'd see how emaciated it looked. And compare it with how it looks now-so much healthier! I fed it some coffee grinds from the nearest hip coffee house*... and a few weeks later, voila! The leaves turned all succulent!





These are perfect for putting in smoothies!



I use a sharp knife to separate the green outer covering from its slimy insides and then scrape the insides off into a bowl or my blender and blend it with some leafy greens and fruit. (Although it's better to use the bowl first to make sure no green prickly parts get included in the smoothie mix!)


*Sosyal ng aloe vera ko, di ba? Even I don't drink signature coffee or any kind of coffee for that matter, but my plants and the worms in my garden do. By the way, I'm not judging you for drinking overpriced coffee. I don't even judge you for drinking coffee, period. I drank it all the time in college. I also lived in Seattle, where people really loved coffee for the coffee, and not so much for the coffee house experience. So my first two years there, I drank it. But I don't drink it anymore because it's bad for my throat. Your throat is probably much healthier than mine. And I'm pretty sure you find my other purchases outrageous too. So stop getting all defensive! :P



When you visit a coffee house, just ask for the grinds - these are just discards the coffee house will gladly give away for free. I guess if you're not a coffee drinker like me you can always buy coffee or cookies for others so that they don't brand you as that crazy lady who eats only raw organic veggies and comes to our coffee house to mooch our coffee grinds!




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Friday, April 29, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #4: Raw Food Books on Sale!




Can you believe this? Living Cuisine for only P200?!!! Thanks so much to Jen the Nursing Mom for the tip! I got this at SM MOA Booksale. Yay yay yay!

Jen actually has her own copy of Living Cuisine and lent it to me last year. I was but a teeny tot in my raw food journey (I don't wanna say babe kasi baka may umangal! Haha!) and this book, along with Victoria Boutenko's 12 Steps to Raw Foods , was very helpful. While 12 Steps helps one overcome an addiction to cooked foods  and provides tips in sticking to the raw food frame of mind with lots of the author's own research in the chemistry of foods, cooked and non-cooked, Living Cuisine details the nutrition info of many common raw foods. Anyone wanting to know where raw foodists get their protein will get more of their question answered here. The book also suggests which items are essentials for the raw food kitchen. I planned my kitchen equipment acquisition program (naks) around her suggestions, as well as the suggestions from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.  I haven't gotten everything I want yet, but I have what I need. I use my Vita-Mix to get most food processing done, but maybe one of these days, I'll get a food processor. And a ceramic knife. We'll see. Wink.

There are many recipes in Living Cuisine, although I haven't tried most of them yet. I did try a dehydrated cracker recipe and it was very easy to make. It used soaked sesame seeds and garlic. It can be very dry, so you might want to add oils and/or water. The original recipe called for lots of spices, which I don't like, so I did the recipe without, and it turned out fine.



Using a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly...





...like so.





Here is my asymmetric cracker batter on the non-stick Paraflex sheet.




Okie dokie! See you in a little bit! (Or shall I say, 12-20 hours?)





Here is the semi-dry cracker, peeled off the non-stick sheet, turned over, and dehydrated on a naked tray for a few more hours.




Ta-dah!




Yummy crackers to share to my raw and non-raw foodist friends! These were very good on their own. Some might want to make garlic aoili nut cheese dip or salsa, or just plain olive oil.

I made two trays: One tray with thin crackers, and one tray with thicker crackers. The thicker crackers can pass for bread! No lie!
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